Alternatives to Secret Santa

Fed up of Secret Santa? Want alternative ideas that are just as fun and better for the environment?

I’m not a big fan of Secret Santa because people often end up buying each other novelty or generic gifts, that will end up either in the bin, being regifted or being resold soon after Christmas.

If you feel the same way, here are some suggestions for alternatives to secret santa, which are just as fun, won’t cost much and are better for the environment!

1. All pay to do an experience together instead!

Instead of Secret Santa, do an activity together. In these Covid times, it might not be practical to do something in person, but perhaps you could do something fun together online. For example an online quiz, bake along, event or course. My sustainable gift wrap course could be a festive and fun thing to do together .

When it is practical, perhaps you could go bowling. Or visit somewhere like an Upside Down House – it is a Secret Santa priced £5 and under (depending on the day and where it is) to get in, is a bit of a laugh and would make for some fun photos!

2. Do a charity collection for a food bank

Swap buying mindless tat for spending £5 each on food, household items and treats that you can take to your local food bank. Check what types of things the food bank needs and can accept before you buy. No wrapping required for this one! Read more about food banks and what to give them in this post by the UK Money Bloggers about their reverse advent calendar project. You could combine doing a collection/ reverse advent with one of the other ideas on this list too.

3. Ungifted Secret Santa

Have you heard of Ungifted Secret Santa? It is a website which arranges an alternative Secret Santa experience! It is free to use and most of the gift ideas won’t cost you a penny.

You put all the names and email addresses of the people taking part into the site. Next set a date for the Secret Santa giving event. Then each of you get an email with the name of the person you are giving the gift to. You can choose from a range of gift options. The gifts are things like giving them a cake, taking the office dog for a walk and putting post it complement notes on their computer!

It is a bit of a laugh and aside from the cake nothing else is a physical gift so nothing needs wrapping.

4. Do an unwanted gift swap

If you can wait until after the Christmas holidays (and you are all able to get together), you could bring in the gifts that didn’t want and do a swap. Add an element of fun, by making a lucky dip out of an old box and some shredded recycling!

So as you can see, there are some great eco-friendly alternatives to Secret Santa to try! Which one is your favourite?

Looking for more ideas for eco-friendly gifts for Christmas? Check out my list of sustainable gifts, your friends and family will love

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